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The waiting game

GPC calls for Professor Steve Field's resignation 'forthwith'

The GPC has called for the resignation of the chief inspector of primary care, Professor Steve Field, at its meeting in London today. 

The motion says that the GPC ’has no confidence in the CQC’s current chief inspector of general practice’, and 'demands his resignation forthwith’, after he claimed that he was ’ashamed of GPs’.

It came right after the RCGP said Professor Field - a former RCGP chair - has ‘lost the confidence’ of GPs, and called for an apology.

Earlier in the week, Professor Field made a tirade of comments in the national media, claiming that he is ’ashamed’ to be a GP at times because of the care being offered by some practices.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘Sometimes we go into a surgery and it’s so bad we go to court the following day to close it down. As a practising GP, I’m quite ashamed that some of my colleagues are providing such poor care.’

Today, the GPC took the step of calling for his resignation. The motion - voted on by GPC members today - says: ’The GPC has no confidence in the CQC’s current Chief Inspector of General Practice and demands his resignation forthwith’.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC chair, said: ’This motion demonstrates the dismay and anger felt by dedicated hardworking GPs across England following the recent unjustified comments made by the chief inspector of general practice at the CQC. 

’When the vast majority of practices are managing to maintain high quality care against all odds in the face of falling resources, staff shortages and rising patient demand, the chief inspector should be vocally supporting GP services and not undermining them.’ 

He added: ’It is clear that the CQC inspection regime is not fit for purpose. The current process is disproportionate, expensive and bureaucratic, and takes GPs and their staff away from spending time looking after their patients. It includes endless amounts of pointless paperwork, such as box ticking exercises aimed at scrutinising the details of internal practice meetings.

’The CQC has already had to perform a U-turn this year over its widely discredited risk banding programme which formed judgements before inspectors had even arrived at a practice.’

Dr Baker earlier said: ‘GPs are supportive in general of regulation, however the way Steve has gone about making misleading, unfounded and denigrating comments about the level of care that hard-working GPs provide to their patients is rapidly undermining the concept of regulation.’

She went on to add that as a result of Professor Field’s ‘sensationalist and non-evidenced claims’ about the how bad the level of patient care is, he has ‘clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’

‘He repeatedly makes sensationalist and non-evidenced claims about how bad the level of patient care is – which must inevitably scare patients,’ Dr Baker said.

‘As the chief inspector of general practice, Steve needs to be seen as being fair and impartial, but given the scaremongering comments he has made this is no longer the case. To be quite frank, he has now clearly lost the confidence of the profession.’


Readers' comments (84)

  • Steve Field should resign as chief inspector of CQC after having been so irresponsible with his comments against the profession. If he does not then he should be fired. This is important to maintain any trust of the profession left in the functioning of the CQC.
    The RCGP should also review and reflect on his Fellowship status now.

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  • Make sure whether he resigns or is fired, he does not get a huge payout from CQC!

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  • Una Coales

    Please stop falling for government's traps...Prof Field is now martyred as a whistleblowing hero by the Daily Mail and public this morning! And please stop using the GMC as a weapon! This only fuels more malicious GMC referrals against innocent doctors by management using the GMC as a weapon instead of dealing with internal employment matters, and others using it for purely vexatious reasons.

    Instead ask why Field got a 100% pay rise between 2013/14 £85k and 2014/15 £175k + £30k pension contributions as CQC chief inspector while NHS GPs and GP surgeries themselves got a huge pay cut and are struggling to keep afloat.

    Ask why your monies and others are funding CQC staff pay in the order of £149 MILLION a year.

    Ask why CQC can give your practice feedback but not vice versa.

    And yes some of you have spotted that Field's practice has not been inspected.

    As for Maureen Baker representing the RCGP and Chaand Nagpaul the BMA, yes they too are experienced politicians and know what to say but judge the orgs by their actions! Just as we judge Hunt by his actions not his words regarding NHS contracts. Judge the RCGP for continuing to fail more BME/IMGs than white UK. Judge the BMA GPC for refusinf to ballot GPs on any form of industrial action from work to rule to undated mass resignation. Actions not words!

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  • Una Coales

    Correction, on page 87/155 of the CQC annual report it does have a footnote that says Field started in Sept 2013 at a FTE of £175k so £85k was for half a year's pay. Not a 100% pay rise but still, not a pay cut?

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  • Una Coales

    @00:44 am who care? We care. Until the BMA ballots GP partners on undated mass resignation from a killer unilateral bankrupting NHS contract, abused GP partners must make an escape plan. From newly qualified GPs getting a GMC referral for a delayed home visit to junior doctors being fired for whistleblowing (, things are only getting worse, much worse until the government succeeds in privatisation of the unsustainable free at point of access socialist NHS.

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  • Una Coales

    Edit. @00:44 am who cares not who care. Sorry typo on my ipad.

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  • Typical knee-jerk reaction. Why in this country (and in this day and age) do we have to try to ban or silence everyone who says things we don't like/agree with?

    Lovely set of ad hominem attacks by the way - I would have expected better logic from such a well-educated segment of society.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    @8.12- you hypocrite.

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  • @Anonymous | GP Partner18 Dec 2015 0:44am

    Get out while you can mate. No one will protect you from burnout except yourself.

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  • If one steve goes then another one will come. We need to ask to reform CQC inspection. Some ideas -
    Remove HR component from inspection - it does not add anything to the patient care, rather interviewing patients, infection control, practice development work would be worth looking at.
    Training practices should be inspected by deanery - i think CQC can delegate this and save some money !
    CQC should provide a template of inspection so that practice spend less time on preparing huge presentation.
    Inspection should be limited to half day unless there is a problem that needs further inspection
    Inspection fee should be limited to where it is now. There is no need to spend millions on this unproductive exercise!

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